I have personally experienced the truth that Adele speaks! I am going to be 60 years old next month. I have been a special education tgeacher for 32 years, and love my profession.I "retired" under some pressure , last December. I was at the top of my district's pay scale. As my duties and paperwork expanded, and my time for collegial contact diminished, and scrutiny of my performance increased, I felt like an ant under a magnifying glass.During my final years of teaching in that district, I also underwent hip replacement surgery, and the experience of the final years of my mother's battle with Alzeheimer's and her death. I actually wondered if the concerns of my superiors were an indication that I too was on the slippery downward slope of Alzheimer's disease. And this, of course, caused more concern, worry and self-indeced pressure.
In September I took a part time job at an essential charter school. Here is where Adelle's truths became manifest. The love and respect for each individual is inherent in every encounter, from professional development days to disciplinary issues with students. We are a family! We hike together and pick apples on weekends. We play soccar with our students.I was offered the opportunity, not simply to "monitor students", but to participate with the students in a production of Shakespere's play, Much Ado About Nothing! And we were ENCOURAGED to adapt the play to modern time, and modify our speaches to increase the inherent humor. The result was fabulous!
Last evening, we performed our final performance. This morning, as I listened to Adele's comments, I realized that I felt a good 10 years younger. I no longer feel any impairment in my abilities. In fact, my input has been praised and certainly is valued by ny co-workers. In practicing with these students, I have had a number of opportunities for marvelous discussions and connections on every topic from the 60's music to Robert Burns. We have PLAYED together, danced together, laughed together, held hands and passed the "good feeling" before each performance. I experienced a child-like feeling of excitement, wonder, and anticipation.
I am re-vitalized daily in this environment. I can only hope that school administrators somehow get exposed to Adele's information, and find a way to put it into practice. I believe that this approach can certainly re-vitalize our schools and students everywhere.
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